The internet is full of job adverts waiting for the perfect candidate to notice and apply. But what happens when there’s an advert for not so honest work? How do we notice when the job advert we’re looking at is a scam? How will this affect us if we fail to notice?
Scam offers can come through social media messages, texts, phone calls, email and even through professional job sites.
We’ve compiled a list of things to look out for when determining whether the job you’re viewing is legitimate or not.
You may have your CV uploaded to various CV databases and job sites so you should expect recruiters contacting you to inform you of available positions. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You’ll want to listen carefully to what the recruiter tells you, make a note of their name, the company they work for, get an email address and telephone number for them, and conduct some research of your own to ensure their legitimacy. It’s often a good idea to cross reference these types of callers with a LinkedIn profile as most recruiters are very active through LinkedIn.
If a job advert quotes a high salary that seems too good to be true, it’s very likely that it is. Most scam adverts will place a heavy focus on salary, compared to skills and experience required. This is the opposite of legitimate job adverts where they may mention salary however this is not the focus.
Scam job adverts may present you with a high salary however they may fail to mention this salary is a benchmark and the role is in fact on commission basis only without the promise of a base salary.
Many jobs require multiple conversations at least to secure the position, and one should expect a formal interview. With a scam role, you may find that the job is yours for the taking on first contact. This is highly unusual, and you should be incredibly wary of situations like this as they usually result in a fake role and wasted time. If you receive contact from a recruiter offering you a job up front, you should consider this a red flag and consider avoiding further contact with this individual.
Job ads that are full of errors and lacking in information should be a major indicator of a scam. Scammers do not usually take the time to ensure that sentences are punctuated correctly or use correct spelling.
You’ll also probably be left wondering what the role involves as the advertiser will put minimal detail into what the role entails and puts a big emphasis on the money you could make as mentioned before.
Errors in a job advert suggest the text has been poorly translated and posted out to see whose attention it can grab.
Emails are one of the simplest ways a scammer can reach as many people as possible to talk about fake jobs. You should spot these quickly as you won’t recognise the contact, it will be poorly written, and the email address will usually fall into one of two categories.
For example, you may receive a scam email from what appears to be a personal email address like firstname.lastname@example.org, or from a randomly generated email address like email@example.com. You should be wary of these as most recruiters will contact you from a legitimate company email address which are easy to spot and cross reference with a LinkedIn profile.
You might be asked by a job scammer for confidential information that is entirely unnecessary at this stage in the process. For example, they may ask for bank details or national insurance information. This is likely due to this scam being part of a larger more organised crime such as identity theft. You should under no circumstances give out this information in a situation such as this.
You will never be asked to share this information in the application process with an authentic business. You may be asked to undertake a DBS check for particular roles, so be wary of any advert or email that asks for a security check like this with a different title. Furthermore, if you are being asked to pay ridiculously high rates for a check like this, it could be a scam.
There are no real jobs that would require you to cash cheques and such like during the application process, so again be wary of requests like this as it is more than likely to be a scam.
Something just doesn’t feel quite right, and you need to follow your instincts. If you’ve been cautious, done your research and checked for all the red flags but still aren’t satisfied, then you could still be facing a scam.
You should feel confident in applying for a job or responding to an invitation to apply before you act so if something doesn’t feel quite right, you’re best to move on. A real job listing shouldn’t make you feel uneasy so it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.